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Vincent Bagnall

The Glass Menagerie Review *

American Dream Created From Fragile Glass

Williams' Glass Menagerie in Giessen Keller Theatre
“When the silent Laura stands behind her glass at the end of a two-and-a-half-hour drama that ends with the blowing out of her candles, we are easily able to see the symbolic hand of Tennessee Williams.

“This was a logical point of closing for this production of an American dream, which still moves people after 40 years or more. In the shabby scenery, which displays the utter hopelessness of the family, the drama develops, which meant a trauma for the involved ones.

“The characters include the theatrically excited mother who lives within her lingering memories and treats her son Tom like a child. The daughter Laura restrained by limping, keeps herself behind her glass menagerie. The son Tom who looks for adventure in the cinema and finally the visitor, by whom a Deus ex-machina function is expected, visits Laura only to disappoint her.

“Williams divides his style with a cinematic technique whereby the son Tom plays the narrator by stepping out of the scenes on a regular basis. The light direction was not very strong and did not succeed in displaying the grim view of the family. The overall direction by Lahaie did convey the tensions in the family well.

“Also resembling the actors' performances is this touching interpretation. The eccentric and unpredictable mother is not only living desperately in the past, but quite practically thinking rationally only if it concerns her daughter's happiness. Denise Moyle plays the "speech-blessed" woman of the American South with a comic and tragic style. Fragile like the figures of her fantasy world, Laura, played by Vicki Smith, limps frequently with jerky Hands. The unsteady view adds up to an intensive representation. This Intensity and fragility communicate themselves to the public particularly strongly, especially when the gentleman caller throws a light into the dim situation. Tracy Jacobsen plays the part of the successful and smart American boy with completeness. Vincent Bagnall, as the son Tom and narrator, has the most impressionable scenes in the family. This is a highly impressive production with strong character work.”

--Ute S. Lahaie, Giessener Anzeiger


* English translation by Babelfish Translation